future forms

Future: will and shall
There is no single form used as the future tense.We can use will plus the base form of a verb to give or ask for information about the future and to talk about possible future actions when we make promises, requests or threats .We usually use contracted forms after pronouns (’ll) or in negatives (won’t) unless we are being formal or emphatic.

1 We’ll help you clean up. • I won’t tell anyone. • Will you please go? • Stop or I’ll call the police.
2 Christmas will be on a Friday. • The meeting won’t start until 9.30. • When will you leave?

We can use shall with I or we to express determination, or in questions to make offers or suggestions.

3 We will forgive, but we shall never forget. • Shall I make some tea? • Let’s talk later, shall we?

In American English, will/won’t (not shall/shan’t) are used with I and we.

Future continuous, future perfect and future perfect continuous
We can use will + be + present participle (the future continuous) to talk about future actions in progress at a particular time and as a way of expressing plans or intentions .

4 I’ll be sending in my application tomorrow. • Will you be using the car later or can I have it?
5 Next week at this time, you will be lying on the beach and we’ll all still be slaving away here.

We can use will + have + past participle (the future perfect) to say that something will be completed by a particular time .

We use will + have been + present participle (the future perfect continuous)
when we look ahead to a future time and imagine an action lasting from a point before that time upto that future time .

6 On the 10th of this month, I’ll have been living here for exactly two years.
7 By next summer I’ll have finished my degree. • It’s 5.30. Will Jay have left work already?

Will or be going to?
We use will for a prediction based on past experience or knowledge , especially in predictive conditionals , and be going to for a prediction based on what we feel or think now .We can use would or was/were going to when we describe a past prediction about the future .

8 Oh, no, I think I’m going to be sick. • We’ve just heard that Kim’s going to have a baby.
9 If you eat too much ice cream, you’ll be sick. • We’ll do okay if the test isn’t too difficult.
10 As soon as the victorious British team lands at Heathrow, thousands of fans will start celebrating.
11 When I was a teenager, I thought I was going to be a rock star and I would never have to work.

We use be going to for a decision already made and will for a decision made at that moment .

12 Her parents have said they’re going to pay for her tuition. • I’ve decided I’m going to get a new phone.
13 I need someone to take this to the post office. ~ I’ll go! • That’s the phone ringing. ~ I’ll get it!

Present simple and present continuous for the future
We can use the present simple for future events in a schedule or timetable .We also use the present simple for future actions in clauses after subordinating conjunctions .We can use the present continuous to talk about a future action we have planned or arranged .

14 I’m seeing the doctor on Friday. • We’re playing tomorrow. (NOT It’s snowing tomorrow.)
15 It won’t matter what he says later. • I’ll see you when I get back. (NOT I’ll see you when I will get back.)
16 The new course starts in January. • I think Kate’s flight arrives tomorrow morning.

(Grammar to go, Oxford Practice Grammar)

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